Tag Archives: Cutcliffe

ACC Operation Football – 1 on 1 with Chris Rwabukamba

Chris Rwabukamba talks about the coming football season with BDN - Photo BDN

GREENSBORO, N.C.  – BDN caught up with Duke senior quarterback Chris Rwabukamba during ACC Operation Football and got his thoughts on the coming season, match ups and more in this one on one interview.  Rwabukamba is a native of Canada via Rowanda which is a story on to itself and one you will surely read about this coming week.  Being Duke’s most experienced secondary player, the role of leadership is now in the lap of Rwabukamba.

Press play –

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Interview with Duke Prospect Desmond Floyd

Desmond FloydDesmond Floyd is a 6’4” 240 pound defensive end from Union, South Carolina. He recently attended Duke’s summer football camp and has received a scholarship offer.

BDN: Can you describe some of your strengths and weaknesses as a player?
DF: My strength is definitely pass rushing, and my weakness is probably my strength right now.

BDN: What are some of the things you’re working on for your senior year?
DF: I’ve been working on my pass rush moves, getting faster and stronger, and coming off the block better.

BDN: As you approach your college decision, what are you looking for in a school?
DF: Good academics first and then the community around the school. For football, the facilities and coaching staff are most important.

BDN: When are you planning to make your college decision?
DF: Whenever I’m comfortable with my choice. I was hoping to maybe decide before the season, but I want to be sure of my decision.

BDN: Which camps have you recently attended?
DF: Wake Forest and Duke in the past month.

BDN: Can you tell me a little bit about those camps?
DF: I got an offer at the Wake Forest camp. I didn’t get to see much of the campuses or talk with the coaches at either camp. It was mostly just working and seeing how the coaching staff coaches.

BDN: Can you talk briefly about some of the ACC schools who are recruiting you?
DF: Wake Forest – their academics are very good and they have a winning reputation in football. Duke – has top of the line academics and a program on the rise. North Carolina State – I just got to see their stadium, I don’t know much about them academically. Maryland has offered me, but I haven’t visited.

BDN: Being from South Carolina, what have you heard from the in-state schools?
DF: I don’t have an offer from Clemson. I have an offer from South Carolina and I really like their coaching staff and they have nice facilities.

BDN: Is there anything else that college football fans should know about you?
DF: Academics come first and I’m a hard worker.

BDN: Thanks very much for your time and good luck with your college decision.
DF: Thank you, sir.

A Cut Above – Portrait of a Football Leader to feature Duke Football Coach David Cutcliffe

Coach Cutcliffe and AD Kevin White are putting Duke Football back on the map - BDN Photo

DURHAM, N.C. –
A Cut Above – Portrait of a Football Leader, a one-hour documentary featuring Duke head football coach David Cutcliffe, is scheduled to air on Fox Sports South five times this month beginning on Sunday, June 13 at 9 p.m.

The show also will air on June 18 (7 p.m.), 20 (5 p.m.), 23 (7 p.m.) and 27 (9 p.m.).

Produced by ISP Sports, A Cut Above – Portrait of a Football Leader, focuses on Cutcliffe’s influence on others, personality and leadership style while including behind-the-scenes video footage of the Blue Devil head coach at practice, in the locker room, at home with his family and bass fishing with Hank Parker.  Topics covered include his roots in coaching, his training methods for elite quarterbacks, his bout with open heart surgery and his challenge in building Duke football into an annual contender.

Highlighting the documentary are interviews with former Cutcliffe quarterbacks Eli Manning, Todd Helton and Thaddeus Lewis, former NFL Pro Bowl quarterback Archie Manning, Duke Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin White, current Duke players and coaches, family members, and country music artist Kenny Chesney.

Cutcliffe was named Duke’s 21st head football coach on December 15, 2007.  He has guided Duke to nine wins in two seasons after the program registered 10 total victories in the previous eight campaigns.  A native of Birmingham, Ala., and a 1976 graduate of the University of Alabama, Cutcliffe spent 19 seasons (1982-98; 2006-07) as an assistant coach at Tennessee where he helped the Volunteers to a 173-54-7 record including 17 bowl games, four SEC championships and the 1998 national crown.  He also served as the head coach at Ole Miss and guided the Rebels to a 44-29 ledger with a 4-1 record in bowl games from 1998-04.

The recipient of the Frank Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant coach in 1998, Cutcliffe has coached two Super Bowl MVPs in Peyton and Eli Manning.  He was named the SEC Coach of the Year in 2003 after directing Ole Miss to a 10-3 record with a share of the league’s Western Division championship and a 31-28 victory over Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl.  Under Cutcliffe, a total of eight quarterbacks have either earned all-conference honors or directed their respective school to a bowl game win: Andy Kelly (Tennessee), Heath Shuler (Tennessee), Peyton Manning (Tennessee), Tee Martin (Tennessee), Romaro Miller (Ole Miss), Eli Manning (Ole Miss), Erik Ainge (Tennessee) and Thaddeus Lewis (Duke).

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Duke Football taking a long look at OT prospect Grant Jones

Grant Jones is a 6’5” 301 pound junior offensive tackle from Lynchburg, Virginia, who has drawn interest from nearly every school in the ACC. Grant has been selected in the preseason Top 100 by Offense-Defense Sports, and was named first team all-conference, area, and state as a junior at Liberty Christian Academy. In addition to his football prowess, Grant also finished his junior year as the #7 overall wrestler in the country and enters his senior year third in the preseason rankings, though he says he is unlikely to pursue wrestling at the collegiate level.

Grant prides himself on his ability to finish blocks and leave his opponents on the ground; he also considers himself to be very strong in pass protection. His goal is to be thought of as a “competitor on every down.” He is always working to improve his technique, keeping his pad level low, and has really emphasized working on his explosiveness heading into his senior year. This fall, he hopes to win a state championship after losing in the title game last year. Personally, he would like to repeat his accolades as first team all-conference, area, and state.

When considering his college choices, Grant is looking for a school where he will get a great education over five years. He’s looking for a coaching staff with experience both on the field and on the sidelines, which he hopes will help to make him successful in life and in football. Mostly, though, Grant values “honesty and trustworthiness – I want a coach who will tell you where you stand and treat you fairly.” Growing up in Pennsylvania, Grant followed Penn State and Notre Dame football, but says that his childhood allegiances will have little to do with his own college career. “It’s a lot different looking at schools now,” he said.

Heading into the spring evaluation period, Grant expects to be evaluated by many schools in addition to the four who have already offered him a scholarship, those being Duke, East Carolina, Stanford, and Liberty. He plans to attend spring Nike camps at Penn State and Virginia Tech during the evaluation period, and hopes to showcase his skills for schools that have recently been in contact, which include Virginia, Virginia Tech, Clemson, NC State, North Carolina, Alabama, Ole Miss, Penn State, UCLA, and USC.

To date, Grant has visited Virginia, Maryland, NC State, and Duke. Grant said that he thought NC State has “great facilities and great coaching,” while he saw Duke as a program whose “stock is on the rise” and that “Coach Cutcliffe is a winner and he is going to get it done there.” Grant had high praise for Maryland’s Coach Friedgen and Virginia’s Coach London, describing them both as “honest and trustworthy” coaches; he added that both schools had “absolutely beautiful” campuses. With Virginia being only an hour from home, he said he was very familiar with the school and has been in touch with Coach London since his days at Richmond.

Grant hopes to make his college choice before his senior year.

duke-blue-devilsCornell head coach Jim Knowles has resigned to become the defensive coordinator at Duke University.  

In six seasons under Knowles’ leadership, Cornell had a 26-34 record, including a 2-8 record this season.

“It was a very difficult decision.” Knowles said. “I’m passionate about Cornell football. It’s in my blood. I love the players. I love the university, and I was honored to be the head coach.”

Cornell sports information director Jeremy Hartigan said a national search for Knowles’ replacement will begin immediately.

Knowles  had two years left on his contract at Cornell.

His hiring has not officially been announced but it is expected to happen this week.

“It boiled down to finances, job security and the opportunity to work with what I think is a great coach and an unbelievable staff,” Knowles told the Binghampton press.

The Duke defensive coordinator position opened when Mike MacIntyre took the head coaching position at San Jose State on Dec. 17.

Sources close to the situation said Knowles wasted little time in making his decision to coach again with Duke coach David Cutcliffe.

Wake Forest at Duke Game Notes – Senior Day, season finale

Big Vince is expected back for the Wake game - BDN Photo
Big Vince is expected back for the Wake game - BDN Photo

Duke (5-6, 3-4 ACC)
vs. Wake Forest (4-7, 2-5 ACC)
November 28, 2009
12 noon (ET)

Site: Durham, N.C.
Stadium: Wallace Wade Stadium
Surface: Natural grass
Capacity: 33,941
TV: Raycom Sports – Tim Brant (Play-by-Play), Rick “Doc” Walker (Analyst) and Mike Hogewood (Sideline)
Radio: Blue Devil ISP Sports Network
Internet: GoDuke.com
Tickets: 1-877-375-DUKE
Series: Duke, 53-34-2

Duke Hosts Wake Forest On Senior Day
Duke (5-6, 3-4 ACC) will host Wake Forest (4-7, 2-5 ACC) on Senior Day this Saturday, Nov. 28. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 noon (ET) at Wallace Wade Stadium. The game will be televised on Raycom Sports with Tim Brant calling the play-by-play, Rick “Doc” Walker providing the color commentary and Mike Hogewood on the sideline. The Blue Devils are coming off a 34-16 loss at No. 20 Miami last weekend while the Demon Deacons had a bye week and lost to Florida State, 41-28, in their last game.

Last Time Out
Duke led 16-13 heading into the fourth quarter, but Miami scored 21 unanswered points to come away with a 34-16 win at Land Shark Stadium. Thaddeus Lewis broke Duke’s career record for passing yards with his 303-yard performance. His top target was Donovan Varner who caught eight passes for 165 yards and one touchdown. Miami was led by Jacory Harris, who threw for 348 yards and two touchdowns, and Leonard Hankerson, who finished with eight receptions for 143 yards and one touchdown.

Duke-Wake Forest Series
Duke leads the all-time series between the two schools 53-34-2. The Demon Deacons have won the last nine games in the series. Duke’s last win was a 48-35 win in Durham in 1999.

Overall: Duke, 53-34-2
First Meeting: Wake Forest, 32-0 in 1889
Last Meeting: Wake Forest, 33-30 (OT) in 2008
Largest Duke Margin of Victory: 67 (67-0) in 1937
Largest WF Margin of Victory: 38 (44-6) in 2005
Duke’s Last Win in Durham: 1999 (48-35)
Wake Forest’s Last Win in Durham: 2007 (41-36)
Current Streak: Wake Forest, W9

Last Meeting
The Demon Deacons came out on top in overtime as Shane Popham made a 28-yard field goal and Alphonso Smith intercepted a Lewis pass in the endzone for a 33-30 victory. Popham finished the day with three made field goals while Riley Skinner threw and ran for a touchdown. Duke was led by Thaddeus Lewis, who threw two TD tosses to Clifford Harris.

Inside the Numbers …

  • 1 – Senior quarterback Thaddeus Lewis will move into a tie for fourth on the ACC career passing touchdowns chart with one more touchdown passes. Lewis currently ranks fifth with 64 career scoring tosses.
  • 2nd – Sophomore wide receiver Donovan Varner ranks second in the ACC for both receptions per game (4.91) and receiving yards per game (79.4).
  • 3 – True freshman Conner Vernon is three catches shy of 50 for the year, which would put him in third place for most receptions by a freshman in ACC history. Vernon also ranks fifth all-time in league history with 653 receiving yards, 42 shy of climbing into third place.
  • 13 – Senior linebacker Vincent Rey is 13 tackles away from his third straight 100-tackle season. He is looking to become just the seventh player in school history with 100 or more tackles in three or more seasons.
  • 15 – Duke will honor 15 players this Saturday on senior day.
  • 15 – Junior walk-on Will Snyderwine has made 15 field goals this season to rank tied for third in school history for a single season. He is 15-of-18 (.833) on the year, which is currently the highest percentage for one season by a Duke kicker.
  • 20 – The Blue Devils have held five opponents under 20 points this season, marking the first time since 1994.
  • 45 – The Blue Devils have tallied 45 plays of 20 or more yards on the season with five plays of over 50 yards. Varner has 16 receptions of 20 or more yards.
  • 48 – Lewis currently holds 48 school records, including 25 career records, 17 single season marks and six single game records.
  • 54 – Varner has 54 catches this season to rank ninth on Duke’s single season receptions list for wide receivers. Varner and junior wide receiver Austin Kelly have become two of the 20 players at Duke with at least 50 catches in one season.
  • 97 – Duke has a Graduate Success Rate score of 97, the highest in the ACC. The football team’s score of 96 was the highest among Football Bowl Subdivision schools with only six programs posting a 90 or better.
  • 100 – Varner has four 100-yard receiving games this year, all in ACC play. His four 100-yard games are tied for fifth most in a single season at Duke.
  • 127 – Varner needs 127 receiving yards to become the fifth player in school history with 1,000 receiving yards in a season. He is currently ranked seventh for a single season with 873 yards.
  • 162 – Lewis needs 162 passing yards to pass Chris Weinke of Florida State for second on the ACC career passing list. Lewis has thrown for a school record 9.678 yards in his career.
  • 297.5 – Duke leads the ACC and ranks 10th nationally in passing offense, averaging 297.5 yards per game. The Blue Devils have thrown for over 300 yards in six games this season.
  • 300 – Lewis has passed for over 300 yards in six of the 11 games this year. His six 300-yard games are the second most in a single season at Duke while his 10 career 300-yard games ties a school record.
  • 700 – With 47 receiving yards Kelly will join Varner with 700 receiving yards on the year, making the duo just the fourth in school history with over 700 yards each.
  • 3,000 – Lewis is 67 passing yards away from becoming the fourth quarterback in school history to throw for 3,000 yards in one season. Ben Bennett accomplished the feat in 1982 and 1983 while Anthony Dilweg has the single season record with 3,824 yards in 1988.